Reducing the Gender Employment Gap in the Hungarian Labour Market
The OECD Social Policy Team and the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) of the European Commission's DG REFORM are cooperating in providing technical support to the Hungarian government to improve women’s access to the labour market and to reduce the gender employment gap.
Despite strong employment growth in recent years in Hungary, women’s patterns of paid work continue to look different to those of men. In spite of reforms to strengthen employment among mothers, such as allowing parents in receipt of parental leave benefits to work unlimited hours once the child turns twelve months old, the gender gap has not narrowed. 63% of women of working age (16-64) were in employment in 2019, 14 percentage points below the male employment-rate.
For Hungary, there is a clear economic case for closing the gender employment gap. The countries working-age population has been shrinking since the mid-2000’s; 5 percent among men and 9 percent among women, and United Nations’ projections suggest that the overall size of the working-age population could fall by almost a quarter by 2050. Strengthening mothers’ labour market engagement could help address the looming labour supply issues.
Against this background, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, Strategic State Secretariat for Families has requested support from the European Commission’s DG REFORM and the OECD to provide technical assistance to improve women’s access to the labour market and to reduce the gender employment gap.
The project will collect beliefs and views around mothers’ employment from key Hungarian stakeholders to inform the direction of future polices to improve the female labour market participation. As part of this, stakeholders are contacted to participate in a stakeholder questionnaire. The resulting proposals will also draw on international expertise and best practices, collected from a range of international researchers and policy-makers.
Outputs and Activities
As part of the project, the OECD will report on stakeholder’s views, as gathered through an online questionnaire in-depth follow-up interviews and/or focus group meetings. The project will also involve an international workshop to foster exchange of good practice between Hungary and other relevant countries.
The final project-conference will present and discuss results, collect stakeholders’ feedback, and fine-tune policy recommendations and develop action plans and indicators for monitoring purposes to be put together in a final report. The project is expected to end in March 2022.